Obamacare gets rid of the immoral parts of health insurance. The practices of recissions, denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, and caps will be gone. Many new preventative screenings had to be part of every plan without copays. 80% or more of premiums must go towards actual healthcare.
There are several health insurance companies. Each one must have its own CEO, CFO, Board, advertising, shareholders, buildings, and staff. The cost of duplicating all these expenses is the reason why up to 33% of every insurance premium goes into someone’s pocket instead of into healthcare. We are asked to unlearn basic arithmetic in order to accept that the above system could somehow be less expensive or more efficient than a system where we all pay a premium to a single entity and that one entity pays the medical bill for those who get sick (no advertising, multiple CEO, CFO, Board, shareholder expenses, etc.).
During the Affordable Care Act debate there was a public option that would have simulated the latter. Lobbying summarily got it removed because had it made it into the Act, over a short period of time, arithmetics would prevail as the public option would be less expensive for any given plan. It would then turn Obamacare into a single payer system by attrition.
There are several different pathways to reach the same goal. It is however important that the paths are built. Obamacare is the path built with pebbles and stones. It is better than the mud path of years past. As riders demand a smoother path they won’t yearn for the mud path again but for a paved road. Americans will not go back after tasting healthcare/health insurance as a right with all the benefits mentioned above. Exchanges will become single payer entities as health insurance companies are unable to demand the profits they want. Eventually exchanges will morph into Medicare for all.
The pebbles and stones that are the current iteration of the Affordable Care Act are wearing thin with Americans. That impatience is justified. Americans spend more per capita on health care than any country in the world. The fact that their health outcomes are no better—and in many instances less favorable—compared to other nations that spend substantially less means that American health care is extractive. In other words, the health industries are pilfering the citizenry, and the excess dollars are lining the pockets of a select few.
Those who hate and have always hated the Affordable Care Act will spin its current flaws as a weakness in universal health care generally, unless supporters make the case forcefully and aggressively: The for-profit model is the problem. The recent events mentioned at the beginning of this story makes the case clearly.
Robert Reich, who was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, wrote a recent article titled "Why a Single-Payer Healthcare System is Inevitable." He points out that private companies realize some kind of single-payer system is a must. And how do they manifest that belief?
Health insurers spend lots of time, effort, and money trying to attract people who have high odds of staying healthy (the young and the fit) while doing whatever they can to fend off those who have high odds of getting sick (the older, infirm, and the unfit). As a result we end up with the most bizarre health-insurance system imaginable: One ever better designed to avoid sick people. If this weren’t enough to convince rational people to do what most other advanced nations have done – create a single-payer system that insures everyone, funded by taxpayers – consider that America’s giant health insurers are now busily consolidating into ever-larger behemoths.
In other words, the private insurance companies want to be the single-payer—for a profit. The question is, why would we pay a for-profit company to cover a bill, when a government agency could do it at a much lesser cost?
Insurance companies by definition manage risk to maximize profit for their shareholders. They do it by denying service and attempting to insure healthy people, which is an immoral act. If everyone has to be insured, there is no risk to manage. It becomes a corporate giveaway, just like the federal student loan program. Remember, the government guaranteed every single student loan in the past. As such, banks took on zero risks, yet charged interest that they kept as profit. If the student defaulted, the government made them whole. President Obama abolished that corporate giveaway.
Robert Reich says it best.
The real choice in the future is either a hugely expensive for-profit oligopoly with the market power to charge high prices even to healthy people and stop insuring sick people. Or else a government-run single payer system – such as is in place in almost every other advanced economy – dedicated to lower premiums and better care for everyone. We’re going to have to choose eventually.
Health care and health insurance should not be left to the market. When one needs health care, they are not in the position to shop around or abide by normal competitive, or supply and demand rules. A patient is always at a disadvantage since they need the product they seek in order to live. As such, the delivery of health care is extortive by definition.
The time to choose is upon us. Those who want to choose the correct path must join the fight now. They must enlighten their friends, families, acquaintances, and coworkers. Why? Because those who want to continue the profitable extortion are relentless. They will misinform, lie, and sow confusion in their quest to convince Americans to make the wrong choice.
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